Even if social media isn’t the primary focus of your cannabis content marketing efforts, a strong presence on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is increasingly essential to make sure readers find the blogs, white papers, web copy and gated content on which you’ve worked so hard. In an era when 31% of adults say they are “almost constantly” online and when younger generations now use social media in lieu of traditional search engines, knowing how to position your content on these channels is essential.
Promoting even the best content on social media can be a challenge. But cannabis companies face hurdles that businesses in other sectors never confront. Advertising restrictions on cannabis brands mean that platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok frequently crack down on content perceived as advocating for or facilitating illegal drug use—even when it’s posted from post-prohibition states.
Why Cannabis Hashtags Take Finesse
That’s why intuitive hashtags like #weed, #marijuana and #stonerz can do more harm than good. The most common terms for cannabis are easily flagged by social media and search engine algorithms and can result in your profile being shadowbanned—when your profile is still technically active but your posts never make it into the feeds of even your most engaged followers— or outright removed from the platform.
Clever cannabis influencers and brands have turned to sneakier hashtags like #ouid and #wəəd to get around algorithm limitations. These creative workarounds are not unlike the shorthand cannabis enthusiasts employed throughout prohibition to communicate about weed with like-minded consumers. Just look at 420, one of the most enduring and well-recognized memes to come out of cannabis culture since federal prohibition was enacted in 1970.
These days, even #420 is a little too mainstream to skirt the eagle eye of social media companies’ terms of service. But new holidays have emerged with their own attendant lingo such as #710. That’s the concentrates-specific holiday that comes around each July, so named because the numbers 710 are an anagram for OIL.
Many cannabis brands have capitalized on how fast cannabis slang emerges and evolves—using terms for different types of concentrates like wax, shatter, rosin and crumble, for example. Others have enough overlap with other kinds of frequently shared subject matter, like unboxing videos or product reviews, that they’re harder to outright ban, even if moderators have caught on.
The rise of emojis, too, has given cannabis enthusiasts new ways to talk undercover about their favorite plant. While there is no official weed emoji, those who partake have adopted the sprout, broccoli, tree and alembic emojis as symbols of flower, concentrates and other consumables. Despite corporate censorship, these reference points have even gotten baked into the subculture of prominent social media platforms, sometimes in surprising ways.
You might expect the /trees sub-Reddit, for example, to be an online meeting place for dendrophiles (that’s Latin for tree fans) and botany enthusiasts to share information about various deciduous and evergreen species. But it was co-opted by cannabis fans who, thanks to prohibition, have become accustomed to talking about dank buds in coded terms.
(Affable fans of actual poplars, oaks, aspens and myrtles turned around and made their own sub-Reddit, /marijuanaenthusiasts, where you are free to chat about much larger, more squirrel-friendly species than sativas and indicas.)
The Best Cannabis Hashtags
So what are some of the freshest cannabis hashtags cannabis fans are using to give Big Brother the slip? We’d hate to ruin the fun by narcing, but here’s a few that will send you in the right direction: